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The 5 Vis appreciation thread

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The 5 Vis appreciation thread

Old 11-05-20, 03:13 PM
  #1  
non-fixie 
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The 5 Vis appreciation thread

Over the years I have come to really appreciate the 50.4 BCD "5 vis" (five screw) cranks.

They are versatile. You can build pretty much any chain ring combination with them, from a close-ratio racing double ...



... to a wide-range touring quadruple:


I have used them to build touring triples, but my favorite application is the compact double, such as this one:



Most of the sets I have are either the Stronglight 49D's or the TA Pro 5 vis', but every once in a while something less well-known turns up, such as this unbranded cottered pair:



My latest find, and the reason to start this thread, are these Nervar cranks. I think they look stunning:



So, any more 5 vis lovers out there? Show us what you've got!
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Old 11-05-20, 03:21 PM
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Any evidence to support the oft-mentioned concern about lateral deflection under load compared to a 5-arm crank? As is, dragging chain on the front derailleur side plates?

I have two sets: one Stronglight 49 and one set of Nervar, both earmarked for 1x setups; thus I won't really need to worry about deflection.
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Old 11-05-20, 03:30 PM
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-----

wonderful subject for a thread

there is a very natural tendency to think of all cinque vis sets as having the 50.4mm BCD

at least one doth not, the Zeus Competition whose BCD is something about 55.2mm
it is even listed in the Howard Sutherland manuals as 50.4mm



production ceased in 1971

---

the Peyrard set in non-fixie's final image is second generation which launched in 1976

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Last edited by juvela; 11-05-20 at 03:31 PM. Reason: spellin'
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Old 11-05-20, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by tiger1964 View Post
Any evidence to support the oft-mentioned concern about lateral deflection under load compared to a 5-arm crank? As is, dragging chain on the front derailleur side plates? (...)
Not from my side. I've read about the concerns, but maybe I'm just not strong enough.

If this worries you, then it is good to know that there are thicker versions of the TA chain rings. Coded "3" and meant for 1/8th chains, but some of those, like the SRAM PC-1 are narrow and flexible enough to not mind a derailleur. The difference:

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Old 11-05-20, 04:58 PM
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I also like these cranks a lot. I have never had a problem with them flexing but I only weigh 160 lb. and have the massive sprinting power of three bull hamsters.
I only own the TA version but would love to find a 49d set in 172.5 or 175. (hint, hint)









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Old 11-05-20, 05:09 PM
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They are both versatile and beautiful. Are there chainrings with ramps and pins?
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Old 11-05-20, 05:10 PM
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Magistroni made them. The Italians tended to keep them to a single ring.

Viscontea 035 by iabisdb, on Flickr

Frejus010 by iabisdb, on Flickr
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Old 11-05-20, 05:49 PM
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-----

have one practical problem with "going micro" on me personal sleds which is likely shared by other readers as well -

in me workshop have cartons and cartons of chainwheels filled with the "take-offs" of boom era prducts. names such as Stronglight, T.A., NERVAR, Campag, Zeus, Sugino, Shimano & SR. the snag is that even though there are a great many chainwheels there is precious little variety since they are all take-offs of OEM sets from back in the day. inners are pretty much limited to 40, 42 & 45T while outers seem to be universally 52T.

so to "go micro" i need to purchase new chainwheels whilst having hundreds which be snoozing in their boxes.

maybe they could be melted down or placed upon the waves of the embaymenture...

"use what's in the bin" juvela

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Old 11-05-20, 06:16 PM
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Velo Orange Grand Cru is a contemporary version:
https://velo-orange.com/products/gra...-crankset-mkii

The rare Sugino PX was a Japanese contribution to this design:
VeloBase.com - Component: Sugino PX

And evidentially Sugino also made the Super Maxy in this bcd:


And the relatively short-lived Shimano DynaDrive touring model:

Last edited by nlerner; 11-05-20 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 11-05-20, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
at least one doth not, the Zeus Competition whose BCD is something about 55.2mm
it is even listed in the Howard Sutherland manuals as 50.4mm



production ceased in 1971
I like the idea of 5 vis cranks, and would love to use one for something suitable to my fitness and riding style like a 42-28 double. Alas, the only 5 vis crank I have is a Zeus Competition with 52-45 rings, which most definitely do not mesh well with my fitness or riding style and seem like a fairly odd choice for the sport touring bike they came on (1969 Raleigh Competition).



I toyed with the idea of trying to drill out some 50.4 chainrings to work with this crank, but it doesn't seem like a reasonable direction.

I wish there were more reasonably priced modern options for 50.4 chainrings. Being the inveterate cheapskate that I am, I find it hard to buy replacement chainrings for any crank, when a new crank with the gearing range I want is usually nearly as cheap if not cheaper.
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Old 11-05-20, 07:33 PM
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Thanks for adding that Deore, @nlerner. I wasn't aware of its existence. With a set of DD pedals it would be a nice crank for a slightly too small frame. Koga-Miyata actually made their frames destined to be fitted with DynaDrive a cm smaller than the advertised size.
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Old 11-05-20, 08:11 PM
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Here's the VO crank on a couple of bikes. 46/30 rings.
edit: same crank, different frame builds. Can't see needing more than one of these; but, i don't tour or hardcore off-road, or live in the high mountains.
It got paired with cross tires for my off-roading. Cino2016, Iron Horse trail, places on Olympic Peninsula, some trails off Hwy410, etc


The Harding, below, ran this wheelset

Sorry for fuzzy pic, it was wet-ish.

Also running the VO 48/34, 110bcd (so not to perjure the thread with a pic)

Last edited by Wildwood; 11-05-20 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 11-05-20, 08:38 PM
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This adapteur with just a single mounted has an odd combo of ring bolts, nuts and caps. There's three longer bolts for the ring guard but hiding in the alternate holes there's bolts with flat heads, hard to see. I've used this as a double as well.


A couple of CCM's.

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Old 11-05-20, 08:38 PM
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I think they look fantastic. Unfortunately, I've only had luck finding arms; rarely TA rings.

IIRC, this is the only 50.4 BCD build I did with a full assortment of TA rings. The other had Viscount rings. Unfortunately, the 175mm arms and toe-clip overlap to the VO fender stay is a problem on this combo.








-Kurt
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Old 11-05-20, 08:50 PM
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I think it is fair to say.....
these lovely C&V cranks are more widely available on the east-side-of-the-pond, given (i assume) the lack of cyclo-tourists in USA - relatively speaking. Or at least that was my experience on two occasions. Thus, the VO option. Their sale is usually just before or after Thanksgiving, not all items, but some priced much better than usually.
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Old 11-05-20, 08:59 PM
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I picked up a set of Super Maxy cranks and when they arrived, was surprised to find that they are 180mm's.

Originally Posted by nlerner View Post

And evidentially Sugino also made the Super Maxy in this bcd:


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Old 11-05-20, 09:40 PM
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My most fun one was a TA set up as a 28 tooth single. I took a tired outside ring, cut it down beyond the bolts for the small rings and bolted the 28 tooth ring directly to that. Ran a 5-speed 13-21 in back (this was 1978) and my racing Cyclone RD. Chain ran under my FD cage.

This was for the Mt. Washington hill climb. Caveat was that the day before was going to be a very hard Cat 1-2 road race so the setup had to be brain dead simple to install. It was. I pulled off the racing cranks, installed the TAs, took off the chain, put a shorter one on and swapped the rear wheel. Took off the WB cages. Done. No stand required. (I did this at the Appalachian Mountain Club "hut" at Tuckerman's Ravine in a quiet spot of floor space. After a 5 hour race into a hard cross-headwind we could not echelon, I was indeed, brain dead.)

For Mt Washington - perfect gearing - except the first, flat 1/2 mile was a joke. My fellow starter horizoned me getting to the mountain. Once onto the climb, I had much, much better gearing than everyone else's 42x28. With my lower gearing and 2 tooth gaps, I had choices, could shift and did.

Those cranks went on to be mounted on my yet to be built Peter Mooney that was ordered several weeks later.
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Old 11-05-20, 09:57 PM
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Several years ago, FSA made 50.4mm rings for Electra's city bikes. I bought several on closeout when Electra discontinued the model.
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Old 11-05-20, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Several years ago, FSA made 50.4mm rings for Electra's city bikes. I bought several on closeout when Electra discontinued the model.
Electra also sold the Ticino 50.4 bcd crankset to go along with those rings, also supposedly made by FSA. What was odd was that the stock double crankset came with a 52/46 ring combo. I removed that and run it with a single 46t TA ring on one of my bikes.
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Old 11-05-20, 10:36 PM
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Huh! Great minds think alike, I guess.

I built this setup for my Schwinn Super Sport three-speed project. It's got:

Nervar crank arms
TA crank bolts
Velo Orange chainring
MKS pedals
SRAM chain
Truvativ adapter rings
Shimano bottom bracket

... and it all plays well together. The Nervar crankarms were the result of a couple swap meet finds, a pedal thread repair, and a lot of hand polishing. I tried finding another right crank arm when I found the stripped threads and couldn't find one after searching for weeks.

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Old 11-05-20, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
I think they look fantastic. Unfortunately, I've only had luck finding arms; rarely TA rings.




-Kurt
Nice lighting and shallow depth of field.

Bicycle Specialities (Toronto) has TA rings on their eBay store.
Peter White in New Hampshire usually has them too.
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Old 11-05-20, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
And the relatively short-lived Shimano DynaDrive touring model:
Nice adaptation of the original Deore crank. I had one of those on my old Schwinn Superior back in the '80's, complete with the DynaDrive pedals. The pedals worked well with my big feet.

Another modern variation of this design is/was the Sun XCD Exceed crank that showed up a couple years ago. It's similar to the VO crank so I wonder if they're from the same factory:

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Old 11-05-20, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
I think they look fantastic. Unfortunately, I've only had luck finding arms; rarely TA rings.
I suspect there's a couple TA hoarders in the Portland area:

DRIVETRAIN - Cranks - Chainrings - Page 1 - Bike Recyclery

https://www.ebay.com/str/vintagenosb...0602018&_pgn=2
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Old 11-06-20, 08:33 AM
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Sugino PX photo from Velobase, since the link in a previous post is being wonky. I’ve got a NOS set of these in my parts bin; I’ve just been a bit lazy in getting them onto a bike.

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Old 11-06-20, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
Here's the VO crank on a couple of bikes. 46/30 rings.
edit: same crank, different frame builds. Can't see needing more than one of these; but, i don't tour or hardcore off-road, or live in the high mountains.
It got paired with cross tires for my off-roading. Cino2016, Iron Horse trail, places on Olympic Peninsula, some trails off Hwy410, etc


The Harding, below, ran this wheelset

Sorry for fuzzy pic, it was wet-ish.

Also running the VO 48/34, 110bcd (so not to perjure the thread with a pic)
-----

Thanks so much for sharing these two!

The Follis livery is a seldom seen one in me experience.

Always great to see your Holdsworthy Charlie - they are very nice machines.

Purchased me first "tenspeed" from him about 1965.

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